The Camp David Casualties

Posted: March 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: The Left, The Right | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Shlomo Ben Ami, Israel’s Foreign minister and Internal Security minister under Ehud Barak, was interviewed this weekend by Maariv (in fact, I edited this article). Ben Ami, who took part in the failed Camp David summit between Barak, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat, has retired from politics and now heads the Toledo Peace Center. Talking from his office in Spain, he had some warm words for Barak, Ehud Olmert, and most notably, Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he described as a “very intelligent, knowledgeable and brave politician”.

And that’s what he had to say about the peace process:

“There is no such thing as a ‘peace process’ anymore. The idea of two states for two people is irrelevant and unattractive both to us and to the Palestinians… Hamas doesn’t want the two states solution. The Palestinians have reached a very similar situation to ours: they don’t believe that Abu Mazen will bring peace, and they think Hamas will do a better job. We don’t believe that Bibi or Tzipi (Livni) will bring peace as well. And we are all right.”

Q: who then will bring peace?

“We should let the Palestinians have their national unity government, Fatah with Hamas, overcome our emotional barrier, and negotiate with both. It was very foolish not to agree to that in Mecca. I’m not sure that Hamas will oppose (negotiations). Sometimes I think the problem will be with the Fatah.”

And later on:

Q: what shall we talk about with Hamas?

“We should talk about ending the occupation and establishing a Jordanian-Palestinian state in the West Bank… an agreement with a state like Jordan can be maintained. They have order, discipline and real state administration. The Palestinians never had their state, they remain an anarchic movement with no direction, no patron, that’s why it is so hard to reach an agreement with them”.

It is almost unimaginable that Jordan will take the Palestinian state on its tiny shoulders, and on top of all things, accept Hamas as its partner. It will bring only trouble to the fragile kingdom. It seems that much like Ehud Barak and the rest of the Camp David casualties, Ben Ami is so disappointed with the Fatah, that he prefers to negotiate with anyone else. The only problem is that there is no one else. Not really. Whether we like it or not, there is no real alternative to the two states solution.

(On one thing I do agree with Ben Ami: that we have to talk to Hamas. It’s only appropriate. After all, we got our own Hamas elected as well).